Reviews for Project Hail Mary

by Andy Weir

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

For those who found Artemis (2017) to be something of a letdown after his much-loved The Martian (2014), Weir returns with gusto. The sun is dying, abruptly and rapidly. Within decades, humanity is going to be wiped out. Survival of the species depends on a lone astronaut who is far from home, unsure of where he is or how to tackle the monumental task that lies before him. Weir’s scientific and technical savvy lends the proceedings an air of authenticity, and his portrayal of an ordinary man full of fear and self-doubt thrust into the role of humanity's last hope strikes just the right note. In many ways, this is a thematic sequel to The Martian; both are stories of individuals battling for survival against extraordinary odds and dealing with loneliness and desperation. In Artemis, it seemed like Weir was trying too hard, but here his writing flows naturally, and his characters and dialogue crackle with energy. Weir is no longer the self-published wunderkind of The Martian; with this novel, he takes place as a genuine star in the mainstream sf world.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Weir returns to the style and themes of his mega-hit debut, The Martian.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Weirs latest is a page-turning interstellar thrill ride that follows a junior high school teacherturnedreluctant astronaut at the center of a desperate mission to save humankind from a looming extinction event.Ryland Grace was a once-promising molecular biologist who wrote a controversial academic paper contesting the assumption that life requires liquid water. Now disgraced, he works as a junior high science teacher in San Francisco. His previous theories, however, make him the perfect researcher for a multinational task force that's trying to understand how and why the sun is suddenly dimming at an alarming rate. A barely detectable line of light that rises from the suns north pole and curves toward Venus is inexplicably draining the star of power. According to scientists, an instant ice age is all but inevitable within a few decades. All the other stars in proximity to the sun seem to be suffering with the same afflictionexcept Tau Ceti. An unwilling last-minute replacement as part of a three-person mission heading to Tau Ceti in hopes of finding an answer, Ryland finds himself awakening from an induced coma on the spaceship with two dead crewmates and a spotty memory. With time running out for humankind, he discovers an alien spacecraft in the vicinity of his ship with a strange traveler on a similar quest. Although hard scientific speculation fuels the storyline, the real power lies in the many jaw-dropping plot twists, the relentless tension, and the extraordinary dynamic between Ryland and the alien (whom he nicknames Rocky because of its carapace of oxidized minerals and metallic alloy bones). Readers may find themselves consuming this emotionally intense and thematically profound novel in one stay-up-all-night-until-your-eyes-bleed sitting.An unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendshipnothing short of a science-fiction masterwork. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

For those who found Artemis (2017) to be something of a letdown after his much-loved The Martian (2014), Weir returns with gusto. The sun is dying, abruptly and rapidly. Within decades, humanity is going to be wiped out. Survival of the species depends on a lone astronaut who is far from home, unsure of where he is or how to tackle the monumental task that lies before him. Weir’s scientific and technical savvy lends the proceedings an air of authenticity, and his portrayal of an ordinary man full of fear and self-doubt thrust into the role of humanity's last hope strikes just the right note. In many ways, this is a thematic sequel to The Martian; both are stories of individuals battling for survival against extraordinary odds and dealing with loneliness and desperation. In Artemis, it seemed like Weir was trying too hard, but here his writing flows naturally, and his characters and dialogue crackle with energy. Weir is no longer the self-published wunderkind of The Martian; with this novel, he takes place as a genuine star in the mainstream sf world.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Weir returns to the style and themes of his mega-hit debut, The Martian.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Weir’s latest is a page-turning interstellar thrill ride that follows a junior high school teacher–turned–reluctant astronaut at the center of a desperate mission to save humankind from a looming extinction event. Ryland Grace was a once-promising molecular biologist who wrote a controversial academic paper contesting the assumption that life requires liquid water. Now disgraced, he works as a junior high science teacher in San Francisco. His previous theories, however, make him the perfect researcher for a multinational task force that's trying to understand how and why the sun is suddenly dimming at an alarming rate. A barely detectable line of light that rises from the sun’s north pole and curves toward Venus is inexplicably draining the star of power. According to scientists, an “instant ice age” is all but inevitable within a few decades. All the other stars in proximity to the sun seem to be suffering with the same affliction—except Tau Ceti. An unwilling last-minute replacement as part of a three-person mission heading to Tau Ceti in hopes of finding an answer, Ryland finds himself awakening from an induced coma on the spaceship with two dead crewmates and a spotty memory. With time running out for humankind, he discovers an alien spacecraft in the vicinity of his ship with a strange traveler on a similar quest. Although hard scientific speculation fuels the storyline, the real power lies in the many jaw-dropping plot twists, the relentless tension, and the extraordinary dynamic between Ryland and the alien (whom he nicknames Rocky because of its carapace of oxidized minerals and metallic alloy bones). Readers may find themselves consuming this emotionally intense and thematically profound novel in one stay-up-all-night-until-your-eyes-bleed sitting. An unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendship—nothing short of a science-fiction masterwork. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Bestseller Weir (The Martian) delivers a suspenseful portrait of human ingenuity and resilience in this powerful narrative of a desperate effort to save Earth. Ryland Grace awakens from a coma with no memories of his identity or how he came to be alone on a spaceship. Weir creates instant engagement by toggling between Grace’s efforts to make sense of his present circumstances and flashbacks that gradually paint an unsettling picture of his life before. Grace worked as a microbiologist until the negative response to his theory that water may not be required to sustain alien life drove him from his research to a job teaching middle school science. That career is disrupted, however, after astronomers discover that the sun is losing heat, imperiling the future of humanity. The cause seems to be a microscopic life-form that feeds on the star’s energy, and Grace is drafted into the international team of scientists working to combat the impending catastrophe. Weir cleverly doles out pieces of Grace’s backstory and information about the mission that landed him in space, tossing in curveballs and judiciously using humor to break the tension as the story builds to an unexpectedly moving ending. This is a winner. Agent: David Fugate, LaunchBooks Literary. (May)

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